According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year, “roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases.”

Foodborne disease or illness (commonly referred to as food poisoning) is the result of ingesting food (or beverages) contaminated by bacteria or other toxins, often due to improper food handling or storage by negligent restaurant workers or grocers. Though there are over 250 different varieties of foodborne illness, such as E. coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter and listeria, the number of laboratory-confirmed bacterial and parasitic infections has more than doubled in the last ten years, according to the CDC.

Acting quickly is the key to bringing a case against the restaurant that gave you food poisoning. That’s why it’s important to see a doctor immediately so proper medical documentation of your illness can begin.


Each unique strain of foodborne disease has its own incubation period. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of food poisoning can begin anywhere from a few hours after eating the contaminated food to a couple of weeks. But in the majority of cases, illness occurs within four days. At least one, but often several, of the following symptoms manifest and can last from a few hours to several days:

Abdominal cramps
More severe reactions can cause:

Miscarriage in pregnant women
Organ failure
Long-term physical and psychological consequences

Pain and suffering
Loss of enjoyment of life and interference with familial relationships
Wrongful death
Emotional distress
Past, present and future medical bills
Lost wages, future earnings, and earning capacity
…and other general damages

Even if you have decided not to pursue a lawsuit against the restaurant, the Mayo clinic recommends seeking medical attention if you are experiencing any of the following:

Frequent episodes of vomiting and inability to keep liquids down
Bloody vomit or stools
Diarrhea for more than three days
Extreme pain or severe abdominal cramping
An oral temperature higher than 101.5 F (38.6 C)
Signs or symptoms of dehydration – excessive thirst, dry mouth, little or no urination, severe weakness, dizziness, or lightheadedness
Neurological symptoms such as blurry vision, muscle weakness and tingling in the arms
To report a suspected case of food poisoning to the Minnesota Department of Health, call 1-877-FOOD-ILL (1-877-366-3455 from within Minnesota).

If you’re one of the many people who have been treated or hospitalized for food poisoning, or if a family member has died as a result, know that the Minnesota attorneys at Meshbesher & Spence are prepared to help. We will work hard to make sure you are appropriately compensated for your medical expenses and physical and emotional suffering.

Contact Meshbesher & Spence for a consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys today.